Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

Kenyans Report a Big Slaughter of Elephants

Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

Kenyans Report a Big Slaughter of Elephants

Article excerpt

Kenya is among the African countries that have been besieged by increasingly wily and ruthless poachers, driven by the soaring demand for ivory in Asia. The dead elephants were found with their tusks removed.

Eleven elephants have been slaughtered by ivory poachers and their tusks chopped off, in one of the worst single episodes of poaching in Kenya in recent years, according to Kenyan officials.

The officials said Monday that they had discovered the 11 carcasses in Tsavo East National Park, one of the country's tourism gems, underscoring the danger that poaching presents not only to the species, but also to one of the cornerstones of the Kenyan economy.

"All the carcasses had bullet wounds," said a statement from the Kenya Wildlife Service.

Kenya -- like almost every other country in Africa where elephants roam -- has been besieged by increasingly wily and ruthless poachers, driven by the soaring demand for ivory in Asia. Ivory can now fetch about 15,000 renminbi a kilogram, or more than $1,000 a pound, in Beijing, and as a result, tens of thousands of elephants are being slaughtered across Africa, more than at any other point in decades.

"We've seen nothing as bad as this since the 1980s," said Iain Douglas-Hamilton, a researcher in Kenya who has been studying elephants for decades. …

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